Global Warming Debate is a Big, “So What?”

What if the Conservatives are right and climate change has nothing to do with human activity?  The Conservatives dispute the scientists who assert that post industrial generation of CO2 is warming the atmosphere.  Perhaps Conservatives are correct that the scientific evidence amassed isn’t conclusive.  Perhaps it isn’t possible to know with absolute certainty that human activity is the sole cause of the increasing temperature.

So what? 

1.       If we are the cause and we do nothing, the Earth may heat up. 

2.       If we aren’t the cause and we do nothing then the Earth may still heat up.

3.       If we are the cause and we make changes to reduce our output of CO2 the Earth may not heat up.

4.       If we aren’t the cause and we make changes to reduce our output of CO2 the earth may still heat up.

Pick the option that makes sense regardless of whether you believe humans are the cause.

What if Liberals are right and climate change is caused by human activity?  The Liberals dispute scientists like NASA Scientist Roy Spencer who dispute the computer models used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Spencer asserts these models are flawed and show more warming than can be validated.  Perhaps the Liberals are right and the scientists who believe that global warming is actually happening and that humans are the cause.

So what?

See 1 – 4 above

Pick the option that makes sense regardless of whether you believe Conservatives or Liberals.

Does it matter if anyone is right?

So if humans only have a choice between action and inaction and if only taking action produces a possibility of reversing global warming, then why the debate? 

The Liberals have taken firm and early hold of the only safe high ground on global warming if it is in fact a real phenomenon.  Liberals can only be wrong if nothing is done and the Earth does not warm up.  Since changes are already being made, Liberals can’t be wrong on the issue.  The only hope left for Conservatives is to disprove that global warming is real and caused by human activity.  Given the complexity of the issue, explaining it to the average Walmart shopper is a tall order.

The debate reminds me of the past when scientists could not agree on the shape of the earth – flat or round – or when scientists debated the rotation of the solar system, earth-centric or sun-centric.  In briefly reading though some of the online arguments for and against, it immediately becomes apparent that someone like me is entirely dependent on the scientists to figure it out.  Complexities in the debate include cloud variations over time, positive and negative solar energy feedbacks, radiation cooling measurements; frankly, all of this stuff is too much for my brain and I’d just as soon go to Walmart.

If no scientists can mount enough evidence to convince the entire scientific community that the issue is either flat or round, then let’s stop the debate until there is evidence and let’s simply take the most prudent approach from a human survival perspective.

This is my graphic take on the politics of the situation.